Let us reflect some more on the Gaskiya College, Ijora, Lagos shocker – the Wednesday news of how an SS II pupil, Saka Ahmed aka Ejo (snake) reportedly stabbed his senior, 19-year-old prefect Saheed Jimoh, to death.
Jimoh had punished Ahmed the previous day and in retaliation, Ahmed ambushed him the next morning as he made his way to school, stabbed him with a knife in the chest, left him bleeding and fled. Jimoh was reported to have died later at a hospital. The case was reported at the Amukoko police station.
For those who schooled in Lagos, getting punished by a senior was really no big deal. You might not like it, but nine of 10 times you simply just served your punishment and moved on. If you felt unduly picked on by any senior, you would either report to a teacher or to another senior who could call the bullying senior to order. Nobody retaliated by stabbing their seniors.
From the Gaskiya College insider reports, the alleged murderer, Ahmed, should have been classmate with Jimoh, but he failed and repeated a class (not surprising). We had a slang for that in Igbobi College; ‘Supposed to be.’ Back then, if you repeated a class, you simply took on new classmates rather than carry a chip on your shoulder as a supposed-to-be in a higher class.
The Ahmed-kills-Jimoh matter is much more than bad or unruly behaviour. It is straightforward homicide and it is completely above the head of the Gaskiya College principal. The Amukoko divisional police must find and arrest Ahmed and the knife in question, investigate all the allegations and charge the case to court in record time without the disappointing rigmarole of bribe taking.
In the 70s and 80s, even though Gaskiya College wasn’t exactly in the A-class of Lagos colleges, it wasn’t ‘razz’ either. Back in the day, almost every college had varied versions of Saka Ahmed aka Ejo who operated with knives, broken bottles, machetes, etc. Many of them were addicts of alcohol, marijuana, heroine, etc.
Those guys were student terrorists. They terrorized students as well as teachers. We heard of deaths, robberies, gang rapes and gang wars, and the like. The truth is that the Gaskiya College shocker symbolizes the level to which college education has sunk. It didn’t just start now and it isn’t limited to Lagos or to secondary schools. It is everywhere in different scary proportions.
But we can begin to address it now. When student crimes almost brought Baptist Academy, Obanikoro, Lagos to its knees, the college authorities moved in soldiers to take over school security, starting with late comers. Students who couldn’t cope with the strong arm tactics of the soldiers had to flee. I remember that the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti had to transfer one of his sons to Igbobi College Yaba in that season. The result? Normalcy returned to Baptist Academy.
Government must move in the Calvary too, but in a different way. The Inspector General of Police must monitor the speed and accuracy of Amukoko police in concluding their investigations and charging this case to court. The Chief Justice of the Federation must monitor how long it takes to serve justice in straightforward matters like this as well as politically impinged cases like Senate President Bukola Saraki’s case before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
When criminals begin to see that justice is speedily served in Nigeria, we would have a safer society faster. We empathize with the Jimoh family over their sad, but senseless loss. Let’s put an end to teenage terrorism before it ends another promising life.